Check me out.

Important discovery made this evening: two teaspoons of cough and cold medicine chased by two mugs of Sleepytime hot herbal tea have a mellowing effect similar to that of a tasty cocktail. Talk about a fantastic bit of relief from a week-long cold.

I had to venture out to the store earlier, and let me tell you that there’s nothing more awesome than having my already small selection of items be dwarfed by a massive bag of cat kibble. Inevitably the checker will comment. Just like one did tonight.

The older gentleman at the register eyed my items and managed a half-smile.

“Hi…cat?” he asked.

“More than one,” I said, expecting the inquiry.

“Anyone at home to take care of you?”

“I’m sorry?” I replied.

“You’ve got some cough syrup here,” he said.

“Oh. Just me,” I explained.

“And the cats!” he added. I swear he glanced at my left hand.

“Maybe a husband soon?” he asked.

Hm. Not all who are ringless are unmarried, even though that is the case with me. Who in their right mind is that comfortable asking such things?

I wanted to tell him that I’d find a husband when he learned to simply operate the register, period — but I didn’t. All I did was smile.

“Well you look great for being sick,” he said. I smiled again and glanced at his hand.

Ring on the ring finger.

“Happy new year, pretty girl.”

I suddenly suspected he meant well by his line of questioning.

Tonight, intrusive checker aside, I am thankful for people who sometimes speak without thinking. The comments are not always about us, but sometimes about what the other person may be up against — or what they think they’re saying in an effort to help someone else. Offended by someone? Smile. It’s useful when biting one’s tongue, and also far less painful than saying something you may regret.

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